'Cracking down on arms trade would be a meaningful way to honour the war dead'

A Yemeni man walks on the rubble of a petrol station after it was hit by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, this year
A Yemeni man walks on the rubble of a petrol station after it was hit by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, this year

Here’s a meaningful way to honour the war dead

If you asked most Brits, “How did the Germans commemorate the end of the First World War?” they would not know.

I was reading the newspapers on Sunday and I picked up the Business and Money section of the Sunday Times.

It read, “Germany’s ban on selling arms to Saudi Arabia could jeopardise BAE Systems’ deal to sell a further 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to the kingdom”.

While we Brits have been looking solemn at our cenotaphs all over the country and praising the Tommys for giving their lives for our freedom, the Germans have actually done something to promote peace in the world.

They have taken a decision that will reduce the overall amount of fire power available to the Saudis and this will do more to bring an end to the starvation and cholera epidemic in Yemen than any amount of humanitarian aid.

It is shameful that our Parliament can’t make the same decision.

Instead they continue to trade in arms for fear of any loss of jobs in the so-called ‘defence’ industry, and for fear that this might reduce their chances at the polls.

If there was the political will, our Government could cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia and implement a national defence diversification programme.

These actions would move the UK away from being the world’s second largest arms exporter.

They would help to make the world a more peaceful place and would be a meaningful way to honour all those harmed by war be they combatants or civilians.

Joan West

Address supplied

Humiliating deal will

poison politics

Will we ever learn from history? The world movingly paused to remember the millions killed and maimed in the First World War. The settlement on a defeated Germany afterwards was so humiliating that it contributed to the causes of the Second.

Germany had to pay reparations of £29bn in today’s prices to a broken Europe. In the Brexit agreement, we have to pay £39bn to a prosperous Europe for a piece of paper.

Germany had to cede territory, as she lost Alsace-Lorraine to France. We have to cede control of the economy of Northern Ireland to the Commission and the Irish Government in perpetuity.

Germany was an imperial power. The UK is a democratic country in which the greatest exercise of self-determination has been undermined by our own Prime Minister. Germany had to disarm. Labelling the UK as officially untrustworthy and banning our involvement in the Galileo system we built and paid for, we are still obliged to spend our treasure and blood in their defence.

That is a task they deem unworthy of their own contribution, except to oppose the United States.

We will have no seat at their tables on which our policies will be decided.

We will have no right to sign our own international trade deals. We will not be allowed to compete. Just pay up and shut up. And the Government says that this is delivering the referendum result we all wanted?

The Versailles Treaty created the Second World War.

This punishment beating of a deal will harden our politics for a generation. With the approval of Mrs May, they are treating us not as a major ally, but as a defeated enemy which deserves punishment for wanting freedom from their rule.

Keith Punshon

Address supplied

It doesn’t matter who we vote for

When are people going to wake up and realise the whole game of soap opera politics is a complete con job.

It doesn’t matter who you vote for, we will still always be crippled by national debt and will still be going to wars based on lies and propaganda. Not even voting for ‘pacifist’ Jeremy Corbyn will make any difference. Those behind the scenes pull the strings of our puppet politicians on both the left and right of politics. This may be hard for people to get their heads around but I have one very convincing argument, it’s called history.

So many times, politicians have promised peace, only to bring war once they are voted in.

Julie Moss

via email

Half-way house

Is Nigel Farage the only person who is talking sense? Are our MPs going to pay out £40bn to the EU just to end up in a half-way house?

I would rather have a no deal than end up paying that amount out. We must not lose our democracy, our sovereignty, Gibraltar included. We must stand up against the bullies within the EU. Come on, Stand up for St George!

Jarvis Browning

via email